Linebacker Ricky Brown is entering his fifth season with the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland Raiders LB Ricky Brown got off to a promising start during the 2009 campaign before suffering a season-ending injury at Giants Stadium. Brown says he is 100 percent and ready to go and that he is looking forward to making an impact for the Raiders in 2010. Raiders.com caught up with the fifth-year player out of Boston College.
Raiders.com: First of all, what did you injure and what have you had to do to get healthy?
LB Ricky Brown: So week 5, playing the Giants, I get rolled up on and I tore my peroneal tendons and the retinaculum, which is the tissue that holds those peroneal tendons in place behind your ankle. The first two months we tried to avoid surgery and hoped for a small miracle and have it heal so I could finish out the season but it wasn't the case. So I went to Baltimore and had Mark S. Myerson, M.D., he's a pretty well known foot and ankle guy and he went and he did a great job with the surgery. I had that in December. So for the first couple of months, I was non-weight bearing, on crutches, going crazy sitting on the couch all day. From there, I started doing my rehab down at Athlete's Performance in Carson, Calif., and had a great experience there, learning a couple different techniques. The main thing was we just started the rehab process. We were really strict following Dr. Myerson's guidelines and now after transferring my rehab up here to be with all the guys, it's just great to A) be around all the guys and B) I've been working with [Raiders athletic trainer] Chris Cortez and we've been making some great strides.
Raiders.com: You come in as an undrafted free agent and you make a name for yourself on special teams. Rob Ryan was the only defensive coordinator you had known since you joined the Raiders and last year John Marshall came in. What do you see from a John Marshall defense that fits your skills and allows you to get on the field?
Brown: You know, last year playing [middle linebacker], that really utilized my speed. I was happy that we needed someone to play [strong side linebacker] and I was going to fill that gap because I love this team, I love this organization, and I'm willing to do whatever. The thing I like about Coach Marshall's defense is that we're attacking whether we have a blitz called or whether we have zone coverage called. I think there's a heightened sense of urgency to get to the ball which is something that we saw spurts of in 2009. I think having Coach Marshall, [linebackers] Coach Mike Haluchak and all those coaches carry over and have their philosophies carry over, I think we're going to see a lot of impressive things from our defense in 2010.
Raiders.com: A trade was made to get Kamerion Wimbley from the Cleveland Browns. What do you know of Wimbley, and how do you think he's going to fit in here with the Raiders?
Brown: A former first round draft pick, that resume speaks for itself… but the one thing I've really liked is that he's just a great person. We're in the meeting rooms and he fits in right with the rest of us. We're out on the field and he fits in. We're in the weight room, it's like he's been with us for a long time. He's already built up those friendships and all the linebackers are very welcoming to him so it will be exciting to go to Napa and work with him and put together a great 2010 campaign. He's a really hard worker.
Raiders.com: You were a restricted free agent, it was possible that you could have gone somewhere else, yet you signed your restricted free agent tender to come back to the Raiders. You said you love the organization, you love the team. Can you expand on that? Why in particular did you want to come back to Oakland?
Brown: The biggest thing is just that I just feel like there's unfinished business. The last two seasons, they've ended with me being on IR (injured reserve). I see an opportunity with me, whether it's at middle linebacker or at outside linebacker being that guy who's going to be doing his job and able to run with anybody. I know I have unfinished business. I love this team. I want to see this team win. I want the fans to get what they deserve. I know some of the moves we've been making as an organization are just all pointing towards the right direction and I want to see that through. As soon as I got tendered, I told my agent I want to sign… I don't even want to talk to anybody else because they're putting confidence in me and I want to show that it is the same amount of confidence I have in them.
Raiders.com: You have a young guy in DE Matt Shaughnessy (just to name one up and coming player) up front and a veteran in Richard Seymour (again, just to name one). How excited are you, because you didn't get much of a chance last year, to play behind those guys and have those guys eat up blocks for you so you can flow to the ball and make plays?
Brown: Matt and I have the same agent so my agent always told me this kid is a player. Unfortunately, Matt had an ankle injury during training camp and then he started sprinkling in right when I got hurt so I wasn't fortunate enough to play with him. The film doesn't lie… the kid is a player and he's got heart. He's willing to work as hard as he needs to. When you throw on a Sunday tape, it's all good stuff that he's doing. And that's a rookie with barely any training camp so it's pretty impressive what he was able to do last year. And then Richard Seymour… the resume speaks for itself, it's the same as Matt, you turn on the tape and you just see him eating blockers. It'll be exciting to have him playing in front of me.
Raiders.com: Looking at the linebacking corps, you have Wimbley who played with his hand down in college and he's primarily been a stand up linebacker in the NFL but then you have Trevor Scott, they've had him standing up, moving him around. Do you guys, as a linebacking corps, do you see that versatility? Are you coming up with new ways to attack the offense, especially getting after the quarterback?
Brown: The biggest thing is it's almost like the more you can do… and it'll be good to have a very physical presence there because when it comes down to it I don't care how it's drawn up. I don't care if it's a blitz or a coverage… it's eventually going to come down to who wants to knock somebody out and who wants to get knocked out. I think we've got a bunch of linebackers that want to get after it this year.